Desloge is in the midst of finishing up a new water system, is constructing a new outer road and they’ve had a number of new businesses locate in the city over the past few years.
Voters in Ward III will choose from two individuals, incumbent Jerry “Hoghead” Hulsey or his challenger, Philip D. Goggin in the April election.
The Daily Journal asked the candidates about their vision for the eastern outer road and what their goals would be for this growing city. Below are their answers.
Philip D. Goggin
He has lived in Desloge for four years and is married to Stacey. They have one child, 2 years old.
For the past five years he has worked for the St. Francois County Ambulance District and has about 15 years working with emergency services in all, eight of them professional, the rest as volunteer.
He has not held public office before or served on any public committees. He has been appointed the health services officer for the Civil Air Patrol and oversees three squadrons in the area for anything health-related including first-aid training and CPR.
He is an unofficial member of the Young Republicans Club of St. Francois County.
He believes he is qualified for the job because he is a people person. “I listen to both sides of an issue to find common ground,” he said. “I think a big part of that is my public service history working in emergency services and fire.”
He also feels his age is a plus. “I’m only 28, so I bring a young, fresh perspective.”
He says he is running because his wife asked him to and he had been thinking about doing so. He would like to eventually run for a state office.
His goals for the city would be to provide a sign for the library to advertise its programs, to improve sidewalks for families so they have more places to safely walk and to bring in more business and industry so there are more job opportunities for residents.
If he could choose only one of those priorities, it would be bringing in more business and industry.
He feels the eastern outer road is prime land for not only new business and industry, but small businesses too. “It’s prime commercial real estate that has to be taken advantage of,” he said. “Even if not businesses, some property development. To put that in and not use that space would be irresponsible.”
He would in the future like to see the stormwater sales tax used to help replace more of the aging water lines the city has inherited from taking over the water system.
“It’s like trying to repair an old car when it would be cheaper to buy a new one,” he said.
He wishes his opponent luck. “I think Eric Bennett said it best when he was running for sheriff. I am running against a really good guy. Jerry Hulsey has been with the city a long time. I don’t consider myself running against him. I am filing for the same position someone else holds. I’ve heard nothing but that about Jerry, that he is a good guy and whether he wins or I win, I wish the both of us the best of luck.”
Jerry “Hoghead” Hulsey
He has lived in the area for 40 years, the past 16 of them in Desloge. His wife is Debra and they have nine children. Three are still at home, ages 16, 11 and 8.
He is employed by Park Hills Water Department as a laborer. He’s been with the water department for the past 18 years.
He is the incumbent alderman and has held the position for 12 years.
Among his top qualifications for the job, he cites his ability to listen. “Being a good listener is probably the No. 1 thing as an alderman. You have to listen to your constituents. I am easy to get a hold of. You have to do the best you can for the city and the people. That’s who votes you in.”
He is running because he wants to continue working for positive change in the city. “I have been there for the whole thing of the water issue,” he said, “which I couldn’t talk too much on that because it’s a conflict with my job. I just hope I can make a change for the city, a change for good. I want to continue that.”
His top three goals would include finishing the eastern outer road, improving streets in general and finishing Brightwell Park.
Of the three, he would focus on Brightwell Park if he could choose only one. The field is not big enough to be regulation size and has drainage issues.
On the eastern outer road, he hopes to see the city bring in business and industry. “There will be land on either side of it and hopefully people will be able to sell their land for commercial prices. I would think it would be commercialized in that area,” he said. “I think that would be a good thing for the city. It’s actually the only way we can expand since Big River is on one side and Park Hills is on the other.
He feels the stormwater sales tax in future should be put toward continuing improvements in that area. “I would use it for putting in stormwaters, drainage like they did in the Cantwell area. Just to continue doing that. I think that looks nice down there with those streets all paved and it makes a big improvement to the city and the residents with their property.”
He too wished his opponent luck.
“Good luck to the guy that’s running against me. I don’t know him. I hope the best man wins.”